Winch to haul up 14-foot boat onto beach

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Winch to haul up 14-foot boat onto beach

Postby mkelly » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:59 pm

I'm in the Pacific Northwest's San Juan Islands. We have a low bank water access property. We have a 14-foot daysailor that we keep on a buoy but like to have on trailer as it's not quite sea worthy to leave at buoy without monitoring weather and web cam. I'm looking for a winch option to basically mount in the front yard [and] be able to drag the boat up the beach--it's sandy enough not to damage the bottom--and simply get into position to pull onto the trailer. The beach access doesn't allow us to back the trailer down, and I'm not into getting a quad or something like that to run the trailer from an access point far away.

I'm looking for something that's easy for my 77-year-old dad to pull out, hook up to the boat, drag up the boat, and either have the boat out of the tideline, or, if some others are there, we can position the trailer to continue to pull and get it over the logs onto the trailer. Either option gets it safe and we're good.

I'm thinking a mobile electric winch that is easy to operate and store. We have very close access to power. It might be custom but if someone has a unit that fits I'd appreciate an opinion.

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Re: Winch Options up/down beach

Postby jimh » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:33 am

The power for the winch is probably going to be 12-Volt DC current from a battery, and then some 120-Volt AC powered battery charger to recharge and maintain the battery. I think that is safer than a 120-Volt AC powered winch that is hooked into a load in the water.

For the winch, there are two general sources:

--a winch designed for a boat trailer, or

--a winch designed for a vehicle bumper as you see on off-road vehicles.

But if it takes the effort and power of a winch to drag the boat up the beach and above the water, how will you get the power to drag it back to the water?

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Re: Winch Options up/down beach

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:34 am

I once saw a small single purpose ramp excavated through a bank on a river. At a distance it looked like the property owner had used a small excavator to cut away a ten foot or so wide strip of the bank and shape it into a ramp. Two metal "C" shape pieces of steel channel wide enough to accommodate a trailer tire were secured side by side pointing up and down the ramp.

When I saw it a trailer was sitting on the ramp. A stand had been constructed at the head of the ramp with a hand winch attached. A cable from the winch was attached to the trailer tongue. It looked as though the owner's intent was to leave the boat and trailer there for the season.

Perhaps something similar would be useful. What logs are you referring to?

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Re: Winch Options up/down beach

Postby Dutchman » Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:58 am

I have seen a similar set up as Butch mentioned except the system I saw was made out of 3/4" to 1" diameter pie as rails with a dory on it that had a cradle for the boat. The rails didn't go into the water so I assume they had a stop to keep it from sliding forward while the boat was winched on. I did see a winch mounted up the beach on like a train stop. Couldn't tell what the voltage was.
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Re: Winch to haul 14-foot boat up onto beach

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:15 am

To sail a small boat off the beach, I would try to use its boat trailer. Perhaps some U-shaped steel channels, wide enough to allow the trailer tires to roll, could be place in two parallel lines to guide the trailer. If the tide range was great, you might have to make a long track--or be content to use it only at high tide.

The winch should be positioned somewhat high so that the pull of its cable on the boat tends to lift the bow.

A trailer with a tilting frame would help to get the boat from the shallow water onto the trailer.

You'd have a sort of home brew marine railway.

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Re: Winch to haul 14-foot boat up onto beach

Postby ConB » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:55 am

I use my 13's own trailer to launch off the beach. The trailer has a caster wheel on the tongue just behind the coupler.

I have a slight down hill slope to launch. If I keep the trailer tires on planks to keep them from sinking into the sand, I can push the boat and trailer deep enough to get it off the trailer.

I use the SUV to get the boat and trailer out of the water. A winch system would work also.

As a senior citizen I find it harder every day to man handle stuff like boat trailers.

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Re: Winch to haul 14-foot boat up onto beach

Postby kwik_wurk » Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:35 pm

Conb--I actually do this with an Johnson 18 (18') that weigh's about 600lbs rigged. (And i also am going to go a bit further and say that i have a davit (can lift a Montauk) and rail and cart for moving other boats (up to 22') into a boathouse on same property/bulkhead. They are all designed to accommodate each other, so i can lift a boat off the beach and put it on a cart, or the reverse.)

The short and sweet: Get a Warn winch, replace the cable with Spectra, maybe get a snatch block if you need the purchase. (You can even go AC if you have easy access to power.) The Pullzall models are great, but only good for 15' which is problematic, and they are heavy for being hand held. --- Other wise you have to get a typical mounted one with a large spool (50' feet) (I have one with 2500lb capacity for davit and rail/cart.) -- The important thing, everything disasblemed in and afternoon and put away in the winter or can be repurposed.

For bolt mounted units being Square is critical otherwise they will not level-wind. I assume you have some sort of deadman or tree to pull against.

Formgoing up/down the beach, I built up TWO basic 8' frames that had ABS tubes/pipe as skids. (Think a basic bunk trailer with 2"x4" framing basically). These have to be light enough you can lift them around. As you pull or push the boat up the beach, you simple place the vacant skid where you want to go, the last skid is where the boat will rest (out of high tide). (skids have to strong enough that two people can be in the boat rigging it etc.)

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Re: Winch to haul up 14-foot boat onto beach

Postby Wweez » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:14 am

To use the existing trailer, use 2x10 or 2x12 lumber wih 2x4 edges for channel to support and guide trailer tires.
22 ft might cost a bit but using wood makes it an easier project.

You could even remove tires and just use wheels if it were worth it or if it rolled easier.
A center track to support and guide tongue wheel would be a 2x4 or 6 edged with 2x4 s for strength and to provide the channel guide.
A few cross members will be necessary to keep it all together.
And you might need to peg it all to the beach to keep it in place.

Any similar arrangement with steel channel works too.
An arrangement using pipe rails with trailer wheels with no tires, riding on the rails would work, and not float.

Even a hand winch adapted to a battery powered drill and socket would give a lot of help dragging it up the hill.

Have fun. Access and easier access is the key to using boats more often.

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Re: Winch to haul up 14-foot boat onto beach

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:21 am

A track made of wood will work on the beach, but probably would float in the water. You could re-fit the trailer with really small wheels and tires to reduce the trailer height; that would make loading the boat onto the trailer easier to accomplish.

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Re: Winch to haul up 14-foot boat onto beach

Postby jimh » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:24 am

I like the idea of using PVC pipe as a railing system--it won't float. Are there any common trailer wheels that, without tires on them, would run on 6-inch PVC pipe as a rail-guide or trolleyway?

Here is a view of a 10-inch diameter trailer wheel. The rim is 6-inches wide. It looks like it would run on some appropriate diameter pipe:

10inchTrailerWheel.jpg (3.35 KiB) Viewed 4389 times

What is the difference between ABS pipe and PVC pipe? How to their strengths compare? How does the cost compare?